Employment-April 9 Effective Date For New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Approaches

Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) available on the website of the New York Department of Labor (the “DOL”) say the following, pertaining to the changes in the Labor Law made by the Wage Theft Protection Act:

Effective April 9, 2011, Section 195.1 of the Labor Law requires all New York State employers, other than governmental agencies, to give employees at the time of hire (before work is performed), and on or before February 1st of each year (starting in 2012), notice of the following:

1. the employee’s rate or rates of pay;
2. the overtime rate of pay, if the employee is subject to overtime regulations
3. the basis of wage payment (per hour, per shift, per week, piece rate, commission, etc.);
4. any allowances the employer intends to claim as part of the minimum wage including tip, meal, and lodging allowances;
5. the regular pay day;
6. the employer’s name and any names under which the employer does business (DBA);
7. the physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business and, if different, the employer’s mailing address; and
8. the employer’s telephone number.

The employer must provide the notice in English and in the employee’s primary language. The employer must have the employee sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the notice(s). The employee must also acknowledge that the employee has properly identified his or her primary language to the employer. The employer must keep the signed and dated notice(s) and acknowledgement for six years and provide a copy to the employee upon request.

The notice requirement applies with respect to both unionized and nonunionized employees. It applies only with respect to employees who work in New York State. Notice of a pay increase is not required (other than in the hospitality industry), so long as the increase is reflected on the employee’s next paystub. The employer should inform its employees in writing of any pay reduction. Notice of any other change in the information described in items1-8 above must be furnished within 7 days after the change, unless the change is reflected in the employee’s paystub for the next pay period. Some new requirements apply to wage statements, which must be provided with each pay check.

The New York State Department of Labor (the “DOL”) has made available on its website sample notices and instructions. The notices are in English, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish. If the DOL has not made a notice available in a particular language, the employer need only provide a notice in English.